The City of Greensboro 2022-2023 fiscal year budget is on the agenda for approval at the Tuesday, June 21 City Council meeting.
The amount of the budget, the tax rate and any details about how the city revenue will be spent beginning July 1, 2022 is unknown.
The agenda for the June 21 meeting published on the City of Greensboro website has this note about the proposed budget, “This item is still under construction. The ordinance is forthcoming.”
The public is allowed to speak on any “General Business” item on the agenda. However, someone who may be considering speaking for or against the proposed 2022-2023 budget is at an extreme disadvantage since they have no way of knowing what the proposed tax rate will be, nor do they have information about how the money will be spent.
City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba has initiated a number of policies in the few months he has been in office designed to keep the public from having access to information. One was to ban the media from the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber during City Council meetings, an action that Jaiyeoba discovered he did not have the authority to do. Another is in not making reports and presentations available to the public before and even after meetings.
The indications are that the 2022-2023 budget will include the largest tax increase in the history of the City of Greensboro. At the June 14 City Council work session, City Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Tammi Thurm, Sharon Hightower and Nancy Hoffmann all said they would support the revised budget and the huge tax increase recommended by Jaiyeoba.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Councilmember and mayoral candidate Justin Outling and Councilmember Hugh Holston said they would not.
The revised budget cut $1 million from the Police Department and used some accounting tricks to lower the proposed tax rate from 66.25 cents to 63.25 cents. The revenue neutral tax rate is 54.56 cents, so the recommended rate of 63.25 cents is equivalent to an 8.69 cent tax increase, representing the largest tax increase in the history of Greensboro.
The proposed budget, which may or may not be the budget that will be considered by the City Council on June 21, totaled $680 million compared to the budget for the current fiscal year of $619 million.